SFM Series Solar Powered
Fuel Polishing System
SFM 1080 Series Enclosed Solar Powered Fuel Maintenance Systems
Not for use with fluids that have a flash point below 100 deg. F.
The fuel flow first enters the Fuel Conditioner immediately upon exiting the fuel pump. Operating on the principal of induction on the process of combining kinetic and magnetic energy to influence the behavior of electrons, the Fuel Conditioner provides a powerful magnetic field and the flow of fuel provides the kinetic energy.
As fuel deteriorates, clusters of fuel components break down and residue begins to accumulate, resulting in dark, hazy fuel with poor combustibility. This residue is composed primarily of asphalt components of the crude oil from which diesel fuel is refined that have fallen out of solution. The fuel becomes dark as the asphaltenes agglomerate and gain weight. The increase in size and mass of the fuel breakdown products lead to clogged filters and the build up of tank sludge.
Accumulation of water in the fuel tank provides habitat for bacterial and microbes brought into the tank through the breather vent or with fuel. As this microbial growth grows and reproduces, a bio-film accumulates and attaches to the tank walls and baffles of the fuel tank and may be seen floating in the fuel (and sometimes referred to mistakenly as “algae”).
This accumulation of bio-mass and fuel breakdown clogs filters, adversely impacts combustion efficiency, produces dark smoke from the exhaust, form acids that degrade injectors and fuel pumps, and adversely impacts performance. Eventually fouled diesel fuel will clog fuel lines and ruin your equipment.
The Fuel Conditioner dissolves the clusters, stabilizes the fuel, and eliminates tank sludge. The results are Clear & Bright Fuel, improved filterability, optimal combustion and clean fuel systems. It also adversely impacts the reproduction process of the microbes and prevents further growth (see the article “Why Bacteria Hate Magnets“, allowing continuing use of the fuel to eliminate the microbes. The process of how the Fuel Conditioner makes clear, bright and more combustible fuel as well as restoring degraded fuel and eliminating the effects of microbial contamination is compelling. As the Fuel Conditioner does not filter the fuel, but treats it as it passes through the unit, there is seldom any reason to suspect that a restriction is in the Fuel Conditioner. But you can remove the face plate, remove the magnet and wipe it off with a shop rag and replace the magnet and face plate. A spare parts kit for the Fuel Conditioner includes a new face panel O-Ring and replacement screws to fasten the face plate.
The solution to suspected microbial growth and the results of asphaltene agglomeration in your fuel is the application of LG-X Series Fuel Conditioning Technology. Fuel Conditioners, when installed in-line in your equipment fuel system, will reverse the process of fuel breakdown, prevent microbial growth, restore fuel filterability, enhance combustibility, and prevent clogged filters and tank sludge. Optimizing fuel droplet size results in combustion efficiency, improved filterability and lower operating costs. (For a detailed explanation of how the LG-X Series Fuel Conditioner performs, see the web page “Learn More About Magnetic Fuel Conditioning”)
The LG-X Series Fuel Conditioner will also disperse and return to solution the asphaltene clusters the result in stored fuel degradation and return the fuel to a clear and bright appearance, a process sometimes referred to as “Fuel Polishing”. (For additional information, see “Diesel Fuel Polishing”)
Operating on the principle of induction on the process of combining kinetic and magnetic energy to influence the behavior of electrons, the LG-X Series Fuel Conditioner provides a powerful magnetic field and the flow of fuel provides the kinetic energy. The process of how the LG-X Series Fuel Conditioner makes clear, bright and more combustible fuel as well as restoring degraded fuel and eliminating the effects of microbial contamination is compelling.
As the LG-X Fuel Conditioner does not filter the fuel, but treats it as it passes through the unit, there is seldom any reason to suspect that a restriction is in the LG-X Series Fuel Conditioner. However, there are situations where the benefit of circulating your fuel through a magnetic unit has added benefit. Should the LG-X Series Fuel Conditioner be used in a situation where a fuel tank itself is in poor condition, where the tank may be rusted on the inside and rust flakes may be coming loose, the LG-X Series Fuel Conditioner would prevent the sharp metal flakes from progressing to the fuel filter where they may pierce the filter medium and allow unfiltered fuel to proceed to the fuel system. Also, should the source of your fuel be questionable, such as a marine vessel that fuels at island fuel stops with little oversight, or remote mining operations where a supplier may not be reliable, having the LG-X Series Fuel Conditioner installed to stop metal shavings or other ferrous debris that may be the result of maintenance on upstream distribution equipment could be a great benefit.
Should a fuel restriction that cannot be traced to a clogged filter element make the LG-X Series Fuel Conditioner suspect, you can remove the face plate, remove the magnet and wipe it off with a shop rag and replace the magnet and face plate. An extreme example is pictured to the left. A spare parts kit for the LG-X Series Fuel Conditioner includes a new face panel O-Ring and replacement screws to fasten the face plate.
To completely reverse the buildup of particulates and fuel components that have attached themselves to the fuel tank bottom and sides, the fuel system lines, and inside surfaces of engine components, combine the use of the LG-X Series Fuel Conditioner with regular use of AFC Series Fuel Catalyst and Tank Cleaning Additives. Unlike off-the-shelf additives that lubricate the fuel pump and limit their effectiveness to cleaning the injectors, the LG-X Series Fuel Catalyst and Tank Cleaning Additives reverse the long term buildup of sludge and degraded organic materials that have accumulated over time in the tank bottom, removes carbon buildup from engine components and stops the degradation of fuel injectors caused by the acids and degraded fuel components.
All of the Fuel Polishing and Tank Cleaning Systems that are available on this web site, any one of which you may find meeting your fuel maintenance requirements, incorporates one or up-to four spin on fuel filter elements for the purpose of capturing and holding fine particulates or water (dissolved or emulsified).
The removal of water and fine particles to a level considered extreme in the past is now considered critically important, especially for today’s engines that utilize a High Pressure Common Rail Fuel Injection system that engine manufacturers have adopted. These engine manufactures now require filtration of all materials larger than 4 micron. Review the article “Diesel Fuel and Injector Failures” on this web site to understand why fuel cleanliness is more important now than ever before.
It is difficult to project how often these hard-working filters might need to be changed, and sometimes difficult to determine when they need to be changed during the fuel polishing process. Many of our systems incorporate Filtration and System Controllers that utilize pressure and/or vacuum sensors to determine when fuel flow through filter elements is being restricted necessitating the replacement of these filters.
Other systems, such as the TK Series or MTC Series Cart Mounted systems do not have automated controllers, but in each case we do utilize pressure gauges that will tell you when the flow of fuel through the filter element is restricted, increasing the back-pressure in the fuel flow and alerting that the filter is “used up”.
It is very typical that the first few times that a re-circulation tank cleaning is undertaken on a tank that has been in service for many years, without any prior cleaning being performed, that several filters are quickly used up in cleaning the tank. But after these several intense cleanings, the filters should last much longer, but only experience and maintaining a log of the fuel flow that has been passed through a set of filters, and how many times a tank has been cleaned will you begin to determine going forward how many filters you are likely to consume and how many filters should be kept on hand.
Many commercial tank cleaning companies that often tackle the cleaning of tanks that have never been cleaned before will regularly go through many filters. In these situations, using systems, such as the MTC Series Cart Mounted and HC Pallet Mounted systems that use mechanical centrifugal primary filtration prior to directing fuel flow through the more expensive spin on filters saves considerable money.
PF-10 and PF-30 HD
Bag Filter Vessels
Also, when you know that many tanks you will tackle are bad, using the PF Series Pre-filter Bag Units can give you a great deal of savings. The PF Series Bag Units can be used without bags initially to remove water and “the big pieces”, and then incorporate large micron bags (as high as 800 microns) in the early phases of the tank cleaning process, and work your way down to 5 micron bags before using the more expensive but much more efficient spin-on filters. The bags may be dumped out, flushed and re-used for a limited number of times, and replacement bags are quite inexpensive.
It is critically important to re-circulate the fuel through the Fuel Polishing and Maintenance System that best suits your requirements, whether it is a hand held TK Series System, an MTC Series Mobile System, an FPS Series Compact System, or an STS Advanced Automated Enclosed Fuel Maintenance System. But the re-circulation process does not create sufficient fuel flow and agitation in the tank, in many instances, to really knock the slime and sludge off the sides and inside top of the tank, and not enough force to loosen the sludge that has been accumulating on the floor of your fuel tank for years!
What you need is something to clean the tank and put this bio-film and slime into the fuel flow so that the Fuel Polishing and Maintenance System can filter out the debris and the Fuel Conditioner can get to the microbes and break apart the agglomerated asphaltene component of the fuel.
Moving the suction hose stinger (an extension to the hose, usually rigid, allowing for the control of the suction line intake end) of the Fuel Polishing System around the bottom during the fuel re-circulation phase does stir up considerable material for the suction line to deliver to the Fuel Polishing System, but there needs to be something that can dissolve the slime and organic material off the tank walls, top, and floor prior to the re-circulation process that will also keep working between Fuel Polishing Treatments.
It is recommended that the diesel fuel tank be treated with the AFC Series Broad Spectrum Additive Concentrate appropriate to your application a day or two prior to the first re-circulation. It should be added to a full tank of fuel or the tank filled just after the additive is introduced to the tank.
After completing the initial fuel polishing re-circulation, continue the use of AFC Series Additives at least once or twice every six months thereafter to assure the fuel tank remains clean and the fuel is stabilized. This will enhance and accelerate the long term tank cleaning process, mainly the hardened sludge in the tank bottom, by breaking down and dissolving the existing tank sludge.
Check the Tank Bottom for Water at Regular Intervals
Always check the fuel tank for an accumulation of water in the bottom of the tank prior to doing a re-circulation. Using a rod, sometimes used to measure fuel in a storage tank, or a length of PVC pipe, spread a line of Kolor Kut Water Finding Paste on the side of the rod or pipe and insert to the bottom of the tank. If the paste touches water, it will change colors, showing how much water is in the tank requiring removal.
Treating a full tank of fuel is important as you don’t want to clean just the bottom half of the tank. You want the additive treated fuel to touch every part of the sides and, if possible, the top of the tank — anywhere the fuel touches during equipment operation.
The AFC Series Fuel Additives are industrial strength and concentrated for the focused dual-purpose of:
- First – working hand-in-hand with the Fuel Conditioning and Tank Cleaning Systems cleaning fuel tanks in preparation for periodic circulation and treatment of the fuel; and
- Second – as a continuing part of a Fuel Management Plan to maintain the cleanliness of storage tanks and fuel systems and assuring that your fuel maintains Optimal Fuel Quality, that we define as fuel that is like it was when it left the refinery, for as long as you depend on the fuel to efficiently operate your equipment.
Removal of Residual Water
Prior to the initial and any subsequent fuel polishing re-circulation, pump any measurable accumulated water out of the tank for proper disposal. It is, however, often impossible to remove all of the water. The AFC-705 Catalyst and Tank Cleaning Additive contains a surfactant that will emulsify this residual water up into the fuel for removal by a Water Block Filter on the Fuel Polishing System.
The AFC-710 Catalyst and Tank Cleaning Additive, which is Tier 4 Compliant, does not include the surfactant component, but otherwise works the same as the AFC-705 to dissolve deposits and stabilize the fuel. As and option to the liquid AFC-710, a powdered form of AFC-710 is also available. It is easier in certain instances to handle, store and transport.
Depending on the condition of the fuel and the amount of sludge build-up, it is recommended to initially use a double dose of one to twenty-five hundred (1:2500 – one oz. to 20 gallons of fuel) and circulate the capacity of the tank five times. The use of AFC Fuel Catalyst has proven to be essential in accelerating the tank cleaning process. AFC-705 and 710 contains detergent, dispersant, corrosion inhibitor, lubricity enhancer and combustion catalyst. AFC Additives do not contain biocides.
For engines manufactured in 2007 and later, use AFC-710, available in both liquid and powdered form. AFC-710 does not contain the surfactant (used to emulsify residual water into the fuel for removal in the circulation process as does AFC-705), a component that does not allow for qualification as a Tier 4 product.
Tank Cleaning & Fuel Treatment for Cold Weather Use
For cold weather operations, AFC Fuel Catalyst AFC-805 is a unique and powerful anti-gelling broad-spectrum fuel additive specifically formulated for use in Diesel, Bio-fuels, Gasoline, Kerosene, and HFO. AFC-805 can be used as part of any preventative fuel maintenance program, and is ideal for use in bulk storage fuel tanks in cold weather environments. AFC-805 enhances the breakdown and removal of sludge, slime, and bio-fouling from tank walls and baffles that are difficult to access. It continues to work in storage tanks cleaning and stabilizing fuel for up to 12 months with a single dose.
It is not unusual that a Fuel Polishing and Tank Cleaning System is installed at a level above the fuel that is to be maintained, especially in underground tanks or base (or “belly”) tanks of generators. How do you maintain the prime on the pump in such an installation?
Foot Valves are handy little devices that can be installed at the end of a pipe line in a suction lift application. They function as a check valve to maintain the prime and also have a strainer affixed to the open end. The check valve is spring assisted. When the pump is turned on, the suction opens the valve and the fluid flows. When the pump stops, the valve responds again by closing. This stops fluid from draining out of the pump column and causing the pump to lose prime every time it turns off.
The strainer also keeps debris from becoming lodged in the foot valve. This would result in the valve being stuck in the open position, and all the fluid draining from the pump column. That nullifies the point of the foot valve! Some foot valves offer tight mesh, others offer a wider grid strainer.
Any installation of a Fuel Maintenance System dedicated to the cleaning and conditioning of fuel in one or multiple tanks would benefit from the inclusion of a foot valve. The efficiency of a system that is programmed to operate on a periodic basis would suffer if an operator must prime the pump each time a tank is due for maintenance.
The Multi-Port Flowpath Actuated Valve System is available to operate in unison with several of the FPS Fuel Polishing Systems. Each MP-VS Valve Set includes two (2) Solenoid Valves (one for the suction and one for the discharge line) and one Foot Vale to be installed on the end of the suction pipe. One valve set is typically installed in each partitioned section of the base tank.
SFM Series Automated and Programmable Functionality
The SFM Series Solar Powered Fuel Polishing and Tank Cleaning Systems are programmable, fully automated Fuel Maintenance Systems that remove water, sludge and contaminants wherever fuel is stored or used. SFM Systems are designed to optimize and maintain diesel fuel indefinitely by removing particulate and water in stored fuel. At times, the location where this all must occurs is not near a connection to the grid, and often there is nobody around to start the fuel polishing and tank cleaning system. But the process of polishing diesel fuel still needs to go forward and the fuel tank, in order to maintain the fuel in a condition so it is ready when the need arises, must be cleaned.
Powered by a solar panel, this innovative fuel polishing process stabilizes diesel and bio-fuels, eliminates microbial contamination, and ensures clean reliable fuel at all times. The SFM Series Solar Fuel Polishing System is ideal for stored fuel in remote locations where power is not readily available.
The SFM Series Fuel Maintenance and Tank Cleaning Systems feature:
All FPS Systems feature:
- Compact Industrial Lightweight Design
- SMART Solar Controllers
- Fully Automated Operation
- Unique Safety & Alarm Features
- Discreet Alarm Indicator Lights
- Continuous-Duty Pumps, Viton Seals
- NEMA Rated Weatherproof Enclosure
An SFM Series Solar Fuel Polishing System is the central component of a Fuel Management Plan for emergency power installations that operate in a remote area infrequently, but must be called on, and relied on, when the need arises. Establishing a fuel polishing and maintenance protocol for these systems should include removal of accumulated water, periodic fuel circulation for particulate filtration, polishing of the fuel, and treatment with AFC Series Diesel Fuel Catalyst made to work hand-in-glove with the Fuel Polishing System to clean the fuel tank without removing the fuel, assuring that the lights stay on when the power goes off.
A fuel storage tank located in a remote location can be a challenge to maintain. A wilderness fishing or hunting camp may be used only a few times each year, and the fuel in the tank that powers the generator is there all year, and, without attention, the degradation of the fuel and infiltration of water and contamination is going on without notice. When the generator is started, it runs for twenty minutes and then shuts down. Clogged fuel filter!
Diesel fuel is often the fuel source of choice in applications requiring generated power over wide geographic areas. Large farm operations need to power water pumps on short notice to provide water for irrigation and to fight damage from frost conditions. Often these pumps are in stand-by mode for extended periods. Or a diesel engine is on standby to power a pump that pumps water from a nearby water source or well to feed a center pivot irrigation system that covers hundreds of acres, water cattle in remote grassland, or provide power to remotely located buildings that operate off the electric grid. The irrigation system has not operated since last season, but the fuel tank has been full of fuel. When the motor is called upon, again, clogged fuel filter!
A fuel tank may sit in the sun and be subject to extreme temperature variances that cause the formation of condensation in tanks, providing the perfect habitat for microbial and fungal growth. Long periods when equipment remains idle allows for the infestation to develop and, when conditions demand the pump be ready to serve, the need is not met due to clogged filters and fuel that is in such a condition that prevents efficient operation of the diesel engines.
These situations are much too common. Oil or gas pumps located far afield need to be ready when called upon. Wind machines that protect orchards and growing fields now are commonly equipped to start automatically when temperatures drop and need to have a ready source of power when called upon. Depending on a generator powered by fuel that has not been used since last season (or the season before) is a recipe for disaster.
While some folks like to have diesel fuel on hand for when they need it, others today are keeping some in a tank for when it may not be available. Preppers and those in the survivalist movement go to great lengths to be prepared for the unknown and the unforeseen. Now fuel can be maintained and kept in optimal condition for the long term without the need to be on-site to start the generator just to polish your diesel fuel.
Remote monitoring services are widely available to tell you that your remote generator has failed to perform a test start up or is not operating when the need for reserve power arises, but that is of little help when the cause of the failure is contaminated fuel, clogged fuel filters, and mechanical failures caused by fuel that has gone bad. Maintaining fuel in optimal condition is necessary and is assured with the use of the SFM Series Solar Powered SFM-1080 Fuel Polishing and Tank Cleaning System.